The Best Ways to Reduce Puffy Eyes

The Best Ways to Reduce Puffy Eyes

We recently got this question from Beth on Facebook: “What is the best way to reduce puffiness under the eyes? I don’t have wrinkles but often am puffy. I have increased water intake.” The list of things that’ll give you puffy eyes is a long one: allergies, staying out too late, watching The Notebook…you get the idea. Thank God there are just as many ways to get rid of them.

Start with one of these at-home remedies, says Michele Green, a dermatologist in New York City and one of the consulting experts behind SkinBetter, our free skin-analysis tool. “The antioxidants in green tea help reduce redness and soothe inflammation,” says Green, who recommends steeping two tea bags in hot water, letting them cool (you might need to give them a squeeze if they’re dripping wet to get out the excess water), and then placing them over your closed eyes. Drape a damp cloth on top and sit back for five to ten minutes. “You could also use cucumber slices,” she says. “It sounds old-fashioned, but it constricts blood vessels, and the cucumber has an astringent property that reduces puffiness.” In a hurry? Swipe on a product that contains caffeine (we like Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller).

If puffy under eye bags are a recurring problem, you may want to take a look at your diet. “Soda makes you dehydrated, and when you eat foods that are high in sodium, your body retains the salt and you get puffy, especially under your eyes,” Green says. Or you may want to invest in an in-office treatment. Green suggests three sessions of eMatrix, a laser treatment for under-eyes, or Restylane Silk, a new one-time injection that goes right into fine lines and under the eyes to help camouflage bags and puffiness.

Here’s Why Your Skin Is Drier (and Itchier) Than Ever

Here’s Why Your Skin Is Drier (and Itchier) Than Ever

Stave off ashiness this winter by learning exactly what’s sucking the moisture from your skin.

You’re cranking up the thermostat. Central heating makes the air superdry, and that zaps moisture from your skin, says Joshua Zeichner, a dermatologist in New York City. You could give it up altogether and start watching TV in a parka, or you could just plug in a humidifier (choose a cool-mist version—that’s easiest to clean). It adds moisture back into the air and, ultimately, your skin.

You’re showering the wrong way. We love a long, steamy shower in the winter, too. But water strips essential oils from your skin, and hot water is the worst offender. “Stick with warm water, and keep it under ten minutes,” says Zeichner.

You’re scrubbing daily. Exfoliating dry skin makes it look more human, less snakelike in the short term. But scrubbing daily causes inflammation that makes dry skin even drier (and flakier, and itchier) over time. If you exfoliate just once a week—and prevent irritation by washing with a creamy, hydrating cleanser before you scrub—your skin will look smoother in the long run, says Zeichner.

You’re not making the most of your body lotion. The best ones have ingredients (like glycerin) that pull water into your skin. Keep your lotion in the shower so you remember to use it right after you towel off, when skin is still slightly damp, and it’ll work better. And don’t stop using it just because your skin is softer and smoother. “When you stop using moisturizers, your skin will revert back,” says Zeichner.

Your sweaters are sabotaging you. Maybe you can wear wool without feeling all itchy. Even so, when wool rubs against skin, it can still irritate and dry you out, says Zeichner. Wear a layer of cotton underneath, or switch to something softer, like cashmere. Can we get that in a prescription, please?

You’re skipping sunscreen. “Even in winter, UV rays can prevent skin from holding onto moisture,” says Zeichner, who recommends wearing a face cream with SPF 30 or higher every day.